Thursday, April 9, 2009

Resurrection alternative theories

With the coming of Easter, I have been thinking about some of the alternative theories that are out there in the world that try to explain Jesus' bodily resurrection in any other way than the Biblical account. This really goes hand-in-hand with my previous post about postmodernism. The postmodernist skeptics have to question everything and try to come up with naturalistic explanations for the miraculous. Instead of realizing that the Biblical narrative of Jesus' resurrection has more evidence than their alternative theories, they refuse to believe.

Dr. Norman Geisler has addressed these differing alternate theories in his work Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker, 1999). His discussion of some of these hypotheses are available on the web in two parts: part one is here and part two is here. Some of the alternate hypotheses include "The Authorities Moved the Body," "The Tomb Was Never Visited," "The Women Went to the Wrong Tomb," and "The Disciples Stole the Body." Geisler goes through each theory and exposes the fallacies in each argument.

William Lane Craig also discusses, among other evidences for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, my favorite alternate theory: Jesus had a previoulsy unknown twin brother who came and stole Jesus' body and presented himself to Jesus' disciples as Jesus Himself. Really. Read his article here (this will download a Microsoft Word document). If you don't want to download it, Google "Professor Blume William Lane Craig" and click on the "View as HTML" at that link reference.

Other theories that are out there include the swoon hypothesis and group hallucination hypothesis. Christian Classics Ethereal Library has a great outline which gives the evidences for the resurrection and the arguments against the alternatives here "That You May Believe."

So celebrate this Easter knowing that all human explanations fall short and that He is Risen Indeed.

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